Friday, June 30, 2023

June 28-29, 2023

Wednesday's weather kept us on land once again, but we finally got back on the water Thursday! As soon as we found our first whale, the fog rolled in and we lost sight of this humpback. Just our luck... However, our streak of bad luck came to an end when we found another humpback whale on our way home! This whale was very active, tail lobbing and tail breaching!

Thursday afternoon, it took us a while to find a whale, but when we did, we were thrilled to see that it was our
friend, Owl! She hasn't been around Jeffreys Ledge for over a month so this was a special treat. To make it even better, she breached close to the boat and then began flipper slapping!

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

June 26-27, 2023

The whirlwind of windy and rainy weather kept us on land both Monday and Tuesday. One of these days things will turn. Stay tuned for that day!

Sunday, June 25, 2023

June 24-25, 2023

We only ran an afternoon trip on Saturday, thanks to the rainy weather in the morning. Unfortunately, whales were doing a great job hiding in the fog that we found ourselves in around Jeffreys Ledge. Even among the searching efforts by all on board, we did not come across any whales.

On Sunday morning we found ourselves back on Jeffreys Ledge. It took a little time but we came across a pair of humpback whales, Dross and her 2023 calf. The calf created quite the spectacle, breaching a few times and circling in towards the boat before ultimately heading back towards mom.

Dross' calf creating whitewater
Dross diving

In the afternoon, we spent time with a single humpback whale. Whales certainly move around, and in this case, even come close to shore! The whale eventually headed back offshore, meandering along the way.

Humpback whale just off the mainland!
Afternoon humpback whale diving

Saturday, June 24, 2023

June 23, 2023

We headed out in flat conditions Friday morning and found our 1st of 4 humpback whales.  This 1st whale was foraging and making 6-7 minute dives.  We got some good looks and practice for what to look for to find whales.  Moving on, we came upon another humpback.  This whale was an identified whale named Clamp, an adult female. Clamp gave us a couple of unhurried looks and even made a slow-motion wobble of her fluke as she dove once.  

While Clamp was below the surface, the flat conditions allowed us to find a basking shark.  The basking shark was a treat, and we could easily see its wide-based dorsal fin and the immense length of the world's second-largest filter-feeding shark. Leaving Clamp, we searched and found a pair of juvenile humpbacks and a minke whale.  One of the humpbacks had a distinctively scarred dorsal fin and tail stock.  These whales were making foraging dives and surfacing together.  

Leaving this pair, we continued on in flattening conditions and had a quick look at the world's 2nd largest animal, a fin whale.  Waiting for that whale to return to the surface, we had 2 additional looks basking sharks!  

A great day on the water with lots of unhurried looks at a variety of marine life.

Friday afternoon, we headed out to look for a report of a pair of blows to the north.  We saw a few pelagic birds-Wilson's Storm Petrels and a couple of Fulmars as we looked for these whales.  We did not find the pair of blows but did have 4 minke whales and a finback whale.  We got a nice look at one of the minkes and the fin whale.  The similarity of the body shape of these two whales was apparent, as was the significant difference in size.  Minke whales are the smallest baleen whales we see, while fin whales are the largest.

Both trips were successful today and showcased the variety of conditions and marine life in the Gulf of Maine.

Friday, June 23, 2023

June 21-22, 2023

Happy Summer Solstice!

Wednesday morning, we passed a grey seal soon after leaving the harbor. Then we found a young humpback whale taking 8-minute dives and moving around quite a bit. Eventually, it slowed down, and we got great looks.  We have had an influx of juvenile humpback whales recently, and this one was a new one to our area. We ID’ed it as the 2022 calf of Ganesh! The exciting part is that we never saw Ganesh and her new calf last summer, so how did this youngster know how to get to Jeffreys Ledge?

In the afternoon, we saw Ganesh’s 2022 calf again, a couple of minke whales, and another young humpback whale. This one didn’t lift its tail but did surface close by several times. It had unique markings on its dorsal fin and some scarring on its back, so hopefully, we will be able to identify it in the future.

Thursday morning started out glassy calm! Our first sighting was of a large basking shark lounging at the surface, allowing us to pull up right next to it. We could see the whole shark just below the surface! Nearby, we found several baleen whales in one area- a minke whale, a fin whale, and a humpback whale! All three were taking long dives and keeping us on our toes. We continued and saw some splashing on the horizon. Humpback whales Dross and her calf were traveling, but the calf was pretty wiggly, throwing its tail out of the water, slapping its tail on the surface, and even jumping completely out of the water several times! We love watching playful baby whales!

Thursday afternoon was beautiful and sunny as we headed out to Jeffreys Ledge. Our first sighting was a young humpback (the 2022 calf of Ganesh) who was busy taking quick dives.  We moved on and had the spectacular sighting of 3 fin whales together! These whales had clearly fed recently, given their extremely active digestive systems. After some great looks at these whales, we moved on and saw two more juvenile humpbacks, both apparently busy deep feeding. It was a great day on the water!

Humpback whale

Fin whale poop!

Fin whale

Humpback whale


Tuesday, June 20, 2023

June 19-20, 2023

The weather cooperated enough on Monday for us to get our trips in. It was a beautiful day. In the morning, we saw two minke whales and two fin whales.

Minke whale in such calm seas
Fin whale

During our afternoon trip, we were back in the same area where two fin whales continued to move around.

Fin whale spout
Fin whale diving
We only had an afternoon trip on Tuesday. We spent plenty of time searching numerous areas around the Jeffreys Ledge region. On the way home, a fin whale decided to show itself. While the whale was spending some time below the surface, it wasn't moving far, allowing for some good looks.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

June 17-18, 2023

The weather has been up and down this week. We didn't run any trips on Saturday due to the windy and rainy conditions. Luckily the weather subsided for an afternoon trip on Sunday. A leftover swell and a few raindrops were sprinkled throughout the trip. Whale-wise we had a humpback whale, three minke whales, and even a handful of harbor seals!

Humpback whale (above and below)

The humpback whale was only a few miles off the coast of Maine and a great way to start off the trip. The minke whales were scattered around further offshore.
Minke whale
We are now on our summer schedule running trips 7 days a week at 8:30am and 2pm, weather dependent of course. Hope to see you soon!

Friday, June 16, 2023

June 15-16, 2023

Conditions were lovely on Thursday as we went searching for marine life. We ended up finding a minke whale out on Jeffreys Ledge. While this whale was darting around quite a bit, we still managed to get some nice looks.

On Friday's trip we were treated to some very incredible behaviors... a humpback breaching! While all whales can breach, it is not a behavior we see regularly so our passengers were extremely fortunate to experience such a spectacular sight.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

June 12-14, 2023

Whales have been doing a good job shifting around the past few days, causing for extra search efforts during our trips. But wild animals can and certainly do just that! Our searching paid off on Monday when we found and spent time with a humpback whale. This humpback whale is a new one for us for the season, and we are in the process of identifying it.

The windy and rainy weather kept us on land on Tuesday. On Wednesday, we had two trips starting with a school group from Deerfield. The trip began with another unknown humpback whale and ended with a VERY familiar one - Pinball and her 2023 calf!
Pinball spent most of her time subsurface. Her calf, on the other hand, was quite the opposite. Lots of squiggly behavior creating plenty of whitewater.
Pinball's calf lob-tailing
During our afternoon trip, we returned to where we were in the morning. We ran into some offshore fog, but it soon cleared, and we were in search mode. Followed by more search mode. And still even more. Unfortunately, we did not find any whales and look forward to our passengers returning to experience the whale aspect of the Gulf of Maine!

Sunday, June 11, 2023

June 10-11, 2023

Sightings on Saturday were well inshore of Jeffreys Ledge. Three humpback whales in total. Still working on identifying each of these whales by using their unique dorsal fin shapes and black and white pigmentation patterns on the underside of their tails.

We enjoy being part of the research community as our research affiliate, the Blue Ocean Society, compiles and contributes all our sighting information to the Center for Coastal Studies. Here's to learning more about the whales that roam our area and where and when they will show themselves next!

On Sunday, the where and when of whale sightings kept us on our toes. First a spout just beyond the Isles of Shoals, only to not be seen again after a 20-minute wait. Then more spouts, four(!), later in the trip. Two fin whale pairs. We ended up trying to track with one of those pairs; a mother-calf pair! Seeing mother-calf pairs are always a special treat but of the second largest animals on earth... awesome! Well, that was when they decided to slow down their travels eventually allowing for some beautiful looks.

Fin whale mother-calf pair!
Mother of the fin whale pair

We also got a gorgeous look at another fin whale in the area just before heading home. Along with a few minke whale sightings our patience and effort made for some great looks at these marine mammals.

Fin whale diving
We are now running whale watch trips daily so stay tuned as we update regularly on our adventures out on the open ocean.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

June 3-4, 2023

Weather is keeping us on land this weekend. Stay tuned for sighting updates next weekend when we get back out on the water.